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Why is usage-based pricing on the rise?
Let's dive into the trend of 2021
👋 Hi, I’m Kyle and welcome to my newsletter, Growth Unhinged. Every other week I take a closer look at what drives a SaaS company’s growth. Expect deep dive takes on SaaS pricing, product-led growth, public company benchmarks, and much more.
Usage-based pricing is, frankly, trendy.
45% of SaaS companies now have some form of usage-based pricing (UBP), up from 34% last year, according to new data from OpenView’s State of Usage-Based Pricing Report (spoiler alert: I wrote it along with my colleague Sanjiv Kalevar).
The survey, it should be noted, used an expansive definition of usage-based pricing counting both companies with a largely usage-based or pay-as-you-go model along with companies that sell usage-based subscriptions.
Newcomers to usage-based pricing include startups like Cypress.io, Pulumi, and Algolia (which called it the ‘most customer-friendly pricing’ in the market); public companies like New Relic; and long-time incumbents like Autodesk.
Creative usage models can even be found in unexpected places like at design giant Canva, which allows folks to buy on a credits-basis rather than just a traditional subscription.
Among the UBP holdouts, 20% say they’ll launch or test usage-based pricing in 2022. Another 41% say that they expect to potentially test usage-based pricing in the future.
That begs the question: why is usage-based pricing so trendy? Take a look at my analysis and find a link to the Usage-Based Pricing report here.
We’re in the end user era of software buying
The seats are empty
Usage-based companies have better financial performance than their peers
Investors are not only getting more comfortable with usage models, they now prefer them
Usage-based pricing sends an incredible message to customers that’s hard to replicate
Here’s what else I’m thinking about this week:
HashiCorp released their S-1 filing revealing $259M in TTM revenue, 124% net dollar retention, and a whopping 100 million open source downloads. Not too shabby. Here’s what I’m digging: the company is betting on their cloud offering and boasting that it “enables [them] to offer consumption-based pricing.”
Anna Heim at TechCrunch interviewed me about the rise of usage-based pricing (caution: it’s paywalled).